Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Target Beauty Box - April

Recently, Target has been putting out a monthly beauty box. It used to be less often (quarterly maybe?) but now it seems to be released at the beginning of each month. I follow Nouveaucheap on Instagram because she always posts when it is available. Unlike other beauty boxes, you buy each box when it becomes available, there is no service you sign up for.  I buy the box based on the sneak peeks I have seen of products included. The boxes usually range $5-$7 in cost.

I decided to pick up the box offered at the beginning of April.  It had a good variety of products, most of which I hadn't tried.

Items in the box:

Simple cleansing facial wipes - I have already used these up on my recent trip.  I don't think they are very saturated but they do okay to remove makeup.  I don't use makeup wipes so I won't repurchase unless I am traveling.

Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Ultra Light sunscreen - Again, I took this on our recent vacation.  We will always use sunblock in our family, especially over the summer.  Even if I don't like it, it usually works for my daughter or husband.

Cerave Healing Ointment - This is a thicker cream that I will probably use on my cuticles when my current product runs out.

Marlowe Body Butter

Laneige Water Bank Soothing Gel Mask

Pantene Airspray Hairspray

Covergirl Colorlicious lipstick - I was worried I was going to get some bright color but I really like the shade of this and it feels nice on the lips.

Maybelline dream velvet foundation

Keep an eye on my empties posts for full reviews of these items as I finish them.  I hope to get back into my What I'm Loving posts each month so you might also see a product there.


*All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated in any way for this box.  All products were purchased by me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Finish 6 by Summer Update #2

Yay for progress!  Usually I feel like I am failing at seasonal projects but I feeling pretty good about my Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo and this Finish 6 by Summer project.  This is my second update for Finish 6 by Summer.

Finished at 1st Update:
Jouer eye definer in chocolat

As of this 2nd update, I've finished 2 more products.

I finished the 12 Benefits hair treatment and the Benefit Porefessional deluxe sized face primer.  I am at a total of 3 products finished now!

Here is what I have left...

I have yet to use any of these four products.

I have 1-2 uses left in another mask and then I'll be using these (Tarte clay mask and Malin and Goetz clarifying clay mask).  Since they are deluxe samples, I think I'll have no problem finishing them as long as I mask regularly and don't forget.

As for the lip products, this week I finished the lip products in my Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo (spoiler alert!!!) so I will be starting to use these now every day.  At the next update, I will have progress to report.  Both of these are full to start.  The Tarte lip crayon is in Energy (a pink shade that adjusts to you) and the Smashbox gloss is Limitless (discontinued).

This is my Jouer cream blush in Petal.  My goal was just to hit pan which I haven't done yet.  I tried to take the picture from the side so you can see the left side that I've been focusing on.  I may hit the pan along that edge by the end of the project.  Fingers crossed!

I'm excited to be finishing off some products and getting started on my lip products.  How is your project going?

I am going to be starting Finish 50 by Fall at some point.  I haven't decided if I will start after Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo or after this project is over.  The 50 products will be deluxe and sample sized products so 50 is a doable number but it will also help move a lot of smaller products out of my collection.  So stay tuned for more info!


*All products were purchased by me.  All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

April Birchbox and March Reviews

Happy Weekend everyone!  It is finally warm and sunny here and I am loving it!  It is a wonderful weekend to be outside.

For the second month in a row, I picked the curated box from Birchbox.  April's box featured a few products I wanted to try out so I went with that box.  Usually, I have either tried the products or they aren't anything that interests me so this is different for me to be choosing this box.

The theme for April is Make it Bloom (I think?  it is rather unclear on the card this month).  They partnered with Rifle Paper Co. again so the box was floral and I did decide to do an add on of a Rifle Paper Co notepad and journal that were super cute.  I'm such a sucker for cute paper products!

Products included in the box (prices are for full size, not the size in the box):
Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution - $21
Dr. Jart+ Liftra Contour Cream - $60
Laura Gellar New York Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Tropical Hues - $28
Parlor by Jeff Chasten Volumizing Lift Spray - $25
Tocca Crema da Mano in Giulietta - $20

I chose the box for the Laura Gellar blush and Marcelle Micellar Solution.  Watch out next month for all my reviews!

March Box reviews....
I picked the curated box in March and the theme was Ready for Anything.

Parlor by Jeff Chastain Smoothing Blowout Spray - I liked this product but I'm not sure it tops my 12 Benefits that I love.  I'll continue to finish the bottle so watch my empties to see if I've decided I love it:)

MILK studios lip color in C.R.E.A.M. - This is the cutest sample and it is a nice nude shade.  However, it is more drying and much more matte than what I prefer to wear.  I'm going to try it with a gloss over it and see if it changes my opinion some.  Although, if I have to pair it with another color to like it, then it isn't worth the $22 for me.

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in Filter - I like these neutral shades however it is hard to get a fluffier brush into the shadows with the way they have packaged this sample.  The cream shade was very powdery and not very pigmented.  They definitely don't top other shadows I have to make me want to run out and purchase a palette from Smashbox.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream - I have been trying a lot of different Kiehls products in the last six months and I haven't really found one I don't like yet.  This cream is too heavy for my oily skin during the day but it works well for me at night.  I don't wake up looking like an oil slick (which is usually my test for a night cream).  I have a lot of creams to use up but I'd consider purchasing this one.  If you have dry skin, it might be a good daytime moisturizer for you.

Wilma Schumann Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads - These were a bust.  First off, the directions for application were not very clear but I did try to follow the directions of where to apply the pads.  They didn't stay in place well and kept sliding down my face.  I never saw any difference in my eye area and these definitely weren't worth the money.

The products in my March box didn't turn out to excite me as much as I thought when I chose the box.  However, I am glad I was able to try out the products, especially the makeup products before I bought them.


*All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Project Polish Update #1

Part of my Project Use It Up this year included nail polish.  Since polishes don't go as fast as skincare or makeup, I plan to update every three months.  You can view my original post about the project here.  Most of my thoughts on these polishes are from December/January when I was painting my  nails.

I haven't painted my nails much in the past two months because my hands and nails have been super dry.  My nails peel when they get dry and the polish just chips right away.  It happens every winter and they are getting better now so I'll be using polish again.

My goals of this project aren't necessarily to finish entire nail polishes.  I don't paint my nails more than once a week, usually every two weeks.  I buy polishes use them once and put them aside.  Often the formula is horrible but I don't get rid of them, I just let them sit around.  So, I want to use every polish at least once so that I can decide if I really like the color and formula.  I will purge as I go the ones I don't like.

With most of the polishes, I am using OPI nail envy as my base coat (to help my nails) and Ruffian top coat from Birchbox.  This way I know whether it is the polish and not the base or top coat.

I started with 20 polishes at the beginning of 2016.  I have added 9 polishes from gifts and the Zoya polishes I bought in January (there is a second page not pictured:).

I used 7 of the polishes before my nails became dry and brittle.  I tried to write some notes about what I thought or if they were worth keeping.  The star means I am keeping it.  I only used the China Glaze silver over another polish for an accent nail but I will keep it for that.

These are the polishes I am decluttering so far this year.
Pink Mary Kay (bottom left) - very streaky
OPI infinite shine in pink and grey - These claim to last 10 days, similar to the Sally Hansen no light gel polishes.  They do not work the same and I don't get the same lasting power, especially for the price.  I am also getting rid of the base and top coat you need to use with them.

That is where I am at right now.  I hope to see more progress over the next few months as I paint my nails more often.


*All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Beauty Empties - March

Yay!  Empties!  I love empties...it helps keep me motivated.  I also love seeing everyone's empties because I enjoy their product reviews that come along with it.  We had spring break this month and took a trip to Florida.  It was wonderful and relaxing and I didn't worry much about my skincare routine or makeup for a good ten days.  That also means that I didn't finish as many products this month.  But some months are like that.

Makeup Empties!
Elf blush in mellow mauve - I really liked this blush.  It had good pigmentation and lasting power for the $3 price tag.  I won't repurchase because I have so many blushes, but I do recommend this one.
Jouer eye definer in chocolat - This dried out and the remaining product broke off and fell out when I tried to sharpen it.  The formula isn't as creamy as others but I love the color a lot so I do have a backup to use.
Mally Volumizing mascara - I absolutely loved this mascara!  It was my absolute Holy Grail until I tried the Tarte Lights Camera Lashes.  I am using another tube of the Mally now and then I have a Tarte one to use and I'll see what my thoughts are on the two.  I would like to try some other mascaras, especially drugstore options so I don't think I'll repurchase right now.

Skincare Empties!
The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil - I find that this helps keep my skin clear.  I use a cotton swab to apply a little bit on the areas I have breakouts the most often, usually my chin.  I have already repurchased.
Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner - I am loving Mario Badescu toners.  I had very few breakouts while using this toner and really liked how it made my skin feel.  I am trying another toner by them right now but I might go back to this one.
Sahajan restorative eye cream - This is being decluttered because I can't stand the smell!!! Just no!!!
Jack Black lip balm (mint flavor) - I was really excited to try this product because everyone raves about it.  I did really like it and might purchase more in the future but I have a lot of lip balms to use up first.

Haircare Empties!
Beautiful Nutrition Grapefruit Detox Shampoo - I wasn't a big fan of this.  I thought it made my hair feel dry.  Not a purchase.
Macadamia dry shampoo - I loved the smell of this dry shampoo and it absorbed oil well.  I have a few dry shampoos to use up and I'd like to try Bastiste before I'd consider purchasing this one.
Pantene Color Preserve Conditioner - I have a bunch of travel sized conditioners around that I'm trying to use up.  This isn't anything I'd purchase a full size of.

Other Empties! (none of these items count towards my total of used up products)
Target Up & Up Cotton Rounds - These are okay for the price.  I prefer the Sephora cotton rounds but I'll buy these if I'm out of the Sephora ones.
Clarisonic brush head - I buy the sensitive brush head and I usually stock up when there is a good sale somewhere or I can earn extra points.
Kate Spade Walk on Air perfume - I absolutely love this perfume!  I got the full size for Christmas.
Clean Warm Cotton perfume - There are two of these.  I don't like the dabber top so I poured them together into an atomizer.  I like this scent but I love the cotton/laundry scents, even as a perfume.  I have a rollerball set from Sephora at the holidays to use up before I'd consider purchasing.

Total used in March - 14 (5 full size, 4 deluxe, 4 sample, 1 decluttered)
Total used this year - 50 products
Total used was $82.00 this month.
Yearly total used is $331.30.

I did spend $80 this month on non-essential items (eye shadow and lip products mostly).  I bought some skincare items that I was running low on and did not have backups but those don't count in my budget  because I consider them essentials.  I am currently -$27 for my budget.  I made more purchases this month since it was my birthday so I know I'll edge back to the positive as the months go by.

You can see my recent March Haul post here.

How is your journey going this year?  Are you working towards any specific goals?  I'd love to hear about it so we can support each other!  You can see my April Goals here.


*All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

BBBC: Pretty Little Things

It is time again for the Beauty Blogger Book Club!  I know I skipped March and I am sorry.  Life was crazy in February and March with the end of gymnastics competition season for my daughter and being in charge of a fundraiser for her school district.

The book we read was Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and I highly recommend it!  I won't do a full review this time but I suggest you read it!  I can't wait to read some other books by this author.

For this past month, the book was Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day.  I chose this book for us to read this month after seeing it and reading the synopsis at my local bookstore.  It sounded like a mystery/thriller type book without being too freaky and keeping me up at night.

In the book, Juliet lives in the same town where she grew up and works at a local motel.  One night, her high school best friend comes to town and is found murdered.  Of course, Juliet is the prime suspect.  In addition to trying to clear her name, Juliet begins to find out that her former best friend's life was not quite what it seemed.

While this book was good, I think I had pretty high expectations for some reason ( I keep trying to think of why to tell but I have no clue).  By about halfway through, I'd narrowed it down to one of two suspects.  There were still quite a few twists and turns as Juliet discovered more secrets from her high school past and that was enough to keep me reading and see how it would play out for the characters.  While good, it isn't a book I'd encourage you to run out and buy.  If you happen to see it at the library, maybe pick it up and give it a read.

For the month of April, Ashly has chosen With Vics You Get Eggroll by Diane Vallere.  This is a mystery that looks like a fun read.

Check out what the other book club members thought of this month's book:
If You Give a Girl a Ring
Blush and Backroads
Uncommon Wife Life
Southern Charm Lifestyle

Any reading recommendations for me?


Thursday, April 7, 2016

New to Me in March

I thought I would start sharing my purchases each month with you all.  Depending on how much I have used a product or if it is a repurchase, I might have a few thoughts on if I like it or not.  For the most part, it will just be what products are new to me this month.

I am starting with the purchases I made in March.  I had some birthday money and birthday coupons because my birthday was at the end of February.  Therefore, there are more products here than I normally purchase in a month, especially makeup products.

Purchase #1:  Mario Badescu
Mario Badescu sent me a birthday coupon.  I really do love their skincare products and needed an eye cream for night since I am almost out of the one I am using currently.  I picked up the Glycolic Eye Cream.  On their website, you can complete a skincare analysis and they recommend products from their line that will work for your skin.  This mask (Strawberry Tonic Mask) was one of those recommendations so I picked it up also.  The rest of the items in the picture were free samples.

Purchase #2:  Ulta
I went to Ulta with my two birthday coupons, one for a free roller lash mascara and one for $10 off a purchase (this is a bonus birthday item if you are platinum).  I had intended to buy the Tarte Tease palette because I had seen reviews and it intrigued me.  My Ulta didn't have that palette in stock so I ended up picking up the Buxom palette in May Contain Nudity instead.  It is pricier than the Tarte palette but I had heard good things about the quality of the shadows.  I also picked up a Living Proof 5-in-1 styling treatment and NYX high voltage lipstick in Flutter Kiss (a nice neutral).  My Ulta was out of the Roller Lash birthday gift so they gave me this Bare Minerals lip gloss instead.  I added the Living Proof product because I had a whole lot of points and I was going to use them on my purchase.  Unfortunately, the points did not get used even though the girl at the register had said she redeemed them.  Which brings us to purchase #3....

Purchase #3: Ulta
I still had over $20 in points since it didn't go through when I was in store.  I got an email with a 5x points on Tarte purchases.  So I went ahead and picked up the Tarte Tease palette and the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara I love.  I used my points and earned bonus points so I paid about $10 for everything here.

Purchase #4:  Birchbox
Birchbox sent me a birthday coupon and I had been wanting a full size of the Jouer matte moisture tint since I had a sample.  So I picked up the Jouer and the Air Repair rescue balm which is a multiple repurchase for me.  I use it on my cuticles and any dry patches.  Birchbox was offering a free mystery box with any $50 purchase so I added that to my order as well.  I received a Birchbox from November but it had lots of good products in it.  Those included a Dr. Jart+ mask, LOC eye shadow stick, theBalm Frat Boy blush sample, Davines hair product, and Ayres body scrub.  Great products for a free bonus box.

That is it for March.  As I said, I took advantage of birthday coupons and birthday money I had to make these purchases.  Otherwise, I am trying to contain my purchases to necessities that I run out of or have no backups and am running low.

Do you like these posts?  For full reviews, you'll have to watch for my empties or What I'm Loving this Month posts.  I would love your thoughts.


*All opinions are my own.  All products shown were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo Update #2

Since today is April 5th, it is time for a Finish 5 by Cinco de Mayo update.  This will be my second update for this project.  I started mid February and you can see my intro here.  March was my first update which you can check out here.

There is only one month to go in this project!  I thought I'd have more products finished at this point but I think I'll finish most of them in the next month.  I'm feeling pretty confident with this one (hope it is justified:).

I have finished one product!  This month I finished the Elf blush in Mellow Mauve.

I repressed this product back at the end of January and it still kept holding on.  I'm excited to have a whole blush out of my collection!  Now on to what I'm still working on...

Foundation - My bonus item was this air pump of two mixed foundations.  This has been too dark so I've been mixing one pump with my It Cosmetics CC cream that is too light.  However, since going to Florida last week, this matches me pretty well.  So I'm using two pumps to cover my whole face and I hope it will be gone soon!
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask - I only have two or three uses left in this tub.  I think if I use it every week as my moisturizing mask, it will definitely be gone.

Coastal Scents eye shadow - This is the product I doubt I'll finish.  I've expanded the pan and will probably need to repress the shadow soon, but I still don't think it'll be gone.  I've been using this shade from a sampler quad in my crease.
Stila lip glaze in sugar plum - You can see my progress marks and I've made pretty steady progress.  I didn't use this much while on vacation so I think with four weeks to go it should be done.
Stila balm in Gabrielle - I don't have many more uses of this one, maybe a week.  The problem is that the tube is slanted so its getting low enough that I am rubbing my lip on the packaging.

While I don't think I'll finish the eye shadow, I did have six items in this project and feel pretty good about finishing 5 of them.  This will make me feel much more successful with my panning since my last seasonal project (Finish 14 by February 14th) was a dud:).


*All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Project Use It Up - March Update/April Goals

Happy April all!  I hope spring has found you because it certainly hasn't hit here yet.  We had flurries today and it is cold!  But it was 70 and sunny yesterday.  Crazy weather!  We did enjoy some time in Florida for spring break so that was nice but it means I have some blog posts to catch up on!

I'm going to recap my March goals for Project Use It Up and talk about April plans.  I apologize for the picture backgrounds.  I didn't even notice the scratches in the surface I used.  Whoops.

My goals:
I used a mask two times
I finished one perfume sample
I only finished one deluxe sample and one foil packet.
I didn't paint my nails at all because they have been very brittle and peeling so the polish just keeps chipping.  I know it is due to cold and dry weather and I'm hoping it improves as spring arrives.

I finished the Macadamia dry shampoo and you'll see that in my empties post.
I used two peel pads but then we went on vacation.

This is the one foil packet I used this month.  I liked this product okay.  I only got one use so not enough to know if it was good or bad for my skin.

These are the products I put in last month's use it up that I didn't finish.  I marked the Origins Night a Mins along the left side.  I used it but was very lazy the last 10 days on vacation and didn't use it often.  I hope to finish it this month.
The Mario Badescu serum just keeps holding on!  I have no idea how much is left but I'm trying to be sure to use it every night in the hopes it will one day be done!
License to Blot is not a product I have much use for so it is slow going.  I did mark where I am at on the cap this time so hopefully it will be gone this month.

My goals are essentially the same again this month.  I have quite a few products in seasonal project pans that I want to finish so I don't want to overlap by putting others in this project.  I have two face washes going that I am getting close to finishing and will be focusing on this month even though they aren't on my list.  I'll add them to the April Products one.

Hope you are making progress with your products as well!  I have a plan for May with some products to include in my Project Use It Up so watch out for that in a few weeks too!


*All opinions are my own.  All products were purchased by me.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.